Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.
Today, we’re talking about why restaurants are closing earlier.
As suspected, restaurants have been responding to rising costs and staffing shortages by cutting hours, according to new data from Datassential. The new research surveyed restaurant hours nationally and found that the average restaurant is now open for 6.4 fewer hours per than it was three years prior, which points to a decline of roughly 7.5%.
While this data might sound alarming, it is not particularly surprising given the challenges restaurants still face in a post-pandemic world and how the industry landscape has changed dramatically since the “before times.” According to Datassential, there are multiple factors even beyond dwindling employees that have forced the change in operating hours. Demand for in-person dining has declined since the pandemic and people are home more often than ever before, thanks to two years of lockdown habits and a shift to a work-from-home model.
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